If you don’t like your smile, chances are you have more than one way to fix it. Two, in particular: bondings or veneers. Let’s take a look at what each process entails, what makes you a candidate, and what the cost and benefits could be.
Bondings: What makes them what they are
Bondings are a composite resin dentists use to restore cracked, chipped or misshapen teeth.
The bondings are applied to the teeth with something called an etching solution. The solution slightly scours the surface of the teeth, allowing the bondings to stick to your teeth.
Your dentist doesn’t just apply the material though. He or she will do some sculpting to give a natural shape to the work. A high-intensity light is then used to harden the bonding, which is now ready for polishing.
Congratulations, you look awesome now.
Bondings: What makes them right for you
If your teeth are discolored, bonding are an excellent solution. Because when your dentist sculpts them to your teeth, he or she can also color match the material to the color of your healthy teeth.
Like anything else, bondings need proper care. So, if you are a two-brushing, one-flossing per day kind of person, bondings could be the right match for you. Your teeth will also need to have enough existing enamel to qualify for bondings. That’s because during the scouring process, some enamel is removed.
Bondings: What makes them wrong for you
There are two main disadvantages to bonding: nickels and nicotine. Bondings cost typically $300 and up to $600 per tooth. So if you have a number of teeth that need work, you may want to explore other options. Meanwhile, the porous nature of bondings means your teeth can go back to being discolored sooner than later if you smoke regularly. Resin is also not the strongest of materials, so you can’t expect a lifetime guarantee. After several years, they will likely wear and stain.
Veneers: What makes them what they are
What bondings are to resin, veneers are to porcelain. They are made in dental laboratories by dental technicians to make you look spectacular. Veneers can be placed over the teeth, but they have a tendency to look bulky and unnatural if significant prep work is not done on the teeth. This means multiple trips to the dentist, about one per week over three weeks to get everything looking right.
Veneers: What makes them right for you
Veneers are a good solution when tooth rotation or crowding of your teeth is nominal or minimal, but when stains and damage are more severe. You will also need to let your dentist determine the health of your teeth and gums as well as your bite to make sure they will last long-term. Veneers can last 15 years when taken care of correctly.
Veneers: What makes them wrong for you
We mentioned the multiple dentist visits that have to happen for veneers to be done right. We mentioned that porcelain is strong and can last 15 years. We mentioned they need to be made in a lab. So, guess what. They are more expensive than bondings. Traditional porcelain veneers run about $1,000 each, on average.
Before you take a bite out of your pocketbook, check in with your dentist and your dental insurer. You may be able to have your dental work covered by your plan. And that would give you good reason to wear a good smile.